One of the keys to playing fantasy basketball is looking towards the week ahead because of the potential matchups coming up. This is especially important in some leagues that require you to make changes to your team only once a week. Here are some of the good matchups for certain players and teams for the upcoming week.
With only three games on Monday there is not much to look at in terms of matchups, but with the Raptors playing the Kings it gives a certain opportunity for a few different players. I love the matchup this week for Tyreke Evans going against Jarrett Jack and Jose Calderon because of the explosiveness to Evans and the lack of team defense from the Raptors this season. Another matchup that stands out to me here is DeMarcus Cousins playing against Andrea Bargnani and Reggie Evans. Cousins is still getting used to playing in the NBA as a rookie this year, but this game should help him acclimate because of his natural ability to dominate the lack of physical size in Toronto.
Sit your Pistons not named Ben Gordon. The Celtics are the best defensive team in the NBA and that will be no different when they travel to Detroit to face the Pistons. On paper, the Celtics position by position dominate the Pistons and that should be no different when the two face off on Tuesday in the Motor City; Look for Rajon Rondo to have one of his 10-15+ assist nights and force Detroit to play from behind most of the night.
A team that stands out to me this week is the Orlando Magic. With games coming up versus the Knicks, Timberwolves and Nets, the Magic should be able to dominate their opponents and make up “fantasy wise” for their lack of production last week versus the Heat. All three of these teams have made improvements on the defensive side of the ball from last season, but with the Knicks giving up 24 assists to Rondo last week, expect the Magic to flex their fantasy muscles this week.
With a full slate of games in the middle of the week here are a few insights to a big night in the NBA.
Hornets at Rockets: Rockets being a good defensive basketball team, this is a good place to sit some Hornets not named Chris Paul or maybe Trevor Ariza.
Mavericks at Nuggets & Grizzlies at Warriors: I fully expect both of these games to be high scoring affairs; start all your fantasy players in these matchups. The pace of the game as a lot to do with how well certain fantasy players produce, with the Nuggets and Warriors in both of these matchups, expect a lot of points and a fast paced game for this one.
This is a classic coming out party for first overall pick John Wall against the New York Knicks. Going into this week, Wall is averaging 21 points a game, 9 assists and 1.5 steals; expect those numbers to be inflated when he makes his first trip to the Garden on Friday night.
In one of the more intriguing matchups of the weekend, the best defensive team in the league face off against one of the best natural scorers when the Celtics face off against the Thunder. I fully expect Kevin Durant to be ready to go and be amped up to face this Celtics team in Oklahoma City. One of the more interesting matchups inside the game will be Thabo Sefolosha possibly guarding Ray Allen on Sunday. The thing that will be interesting here will be the length of Sefolosha and to see if it will bother Ray when he runs circles on the court and attempts to get open versus a very young, fast, improving defensive team in the Thunder.